January 27

FitReaders Check In: January 27

One of my goals (again) for the new year is to be more active. I signed up for #FitReaders in 2016 and kind of fell off about March. So I signed up again for 2017 in my efforts to be more active. #FitReaders is hosted by Geeky Bloggers Book Blog and That’s What I’m Talking About. Armed with my handy dandy Fitbit, I’m ready to get out there and get moving.

I’m a little late with posting my weekly check ins because I couldn’t find the cord so I could charge my FitBit. In my effort to be more organized, I put it away and forgot where I placed it. Anyway…found it. I’ll just start with this week’s check in. Apparently, according to FitBit, I was more active this week than last week.

46,314 total steps
19.91 total miles
46 total floors


January 20

Project 52: Rule of Thirds


As of my 2017 goals, I want to take more photos and be more creative. I am participating in a 52 week photography challenge hosted by Everyday Eye Candy. I’m a little late posting my photos, but better late than never. Project 52 will be a weekly series where I post my “official” Project 52 photo for the week.

This week’s theme is the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is intended to help beginner photographers to take well balanced and interesting shots.

rule of thirds
lady walking in the park

This picture was taken at Gravelly Point, Alexandria, Va. I was using my Canon Rebel T5.

January 18

Book Review: Troublemaker

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology Book Cover Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology
Leah Remini, Rebecca Paley
Biography & Autobiography
Ballantine Books
November 3, 2015

Leah Remini has never been the type to hold her tongue. That willingness to speak her mind, stand her ground, and rattle the occasional cage has enabled this tough-talking girl from Brooklyn to forge an enduring and successful career in Hollywood. But being a troublemaker has come at a cost. That was never more evident than in 2013, when Remini loudly and publicly broke with the Church of Scientology. Now, in this frank memoir, the former King of Queens star opens up about that experience, revealing the details of her painful split with the church and its controversial practices. Indoctrinated into the church as a child while living with her mother and sister in New York, Remini eventually moved to Los Angeles, where her dreams of becoming an actress and advancing Scientology's causes grew increasingly intertwined. She found the success she'd worked so hard for, and with it a prominent place in the hierarchy of celebrity Scientologists alongside people such as Tom Cruise, Scientology's most high-profile adherent. But when she began to raise questions about some of the church's actions, she found herself a target. In the end, she was declared by the church to be a threat to their organization and therefore a "Suppressive Person," and all of her fellow parishioners -- including members of her own family -- were told to disconnect from her. Forever.

I’ve been watching Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath on A&E. I’ve heard about Scientology and the very interesting details of those involved. I remember Tom Cruise jumping up and down on Oprah’s couch as well as his controversial comments about Brook Shields and her postpartum depression. But looking at this show, I found it intriguing that some of the top leaders and others were leaving the Church of Scientology. Even if 50% of what these people said were true, I’m kinda, but not really, surprised that more people haven’t left yet. I vaguely remember Leah Remini leaving Scientology, but I didn’t really know a lot about her. So I decided to read her memoir.

Since I’ve discovered audio book, I will only read certain type of books only as an audio book, an autobiography is one book that I feel is best read by the author. And I’m glad that I did choose the audio version of Troublemaker. It was refreshing to hear Leah’s honesty and New York accent. She opens the book with a confession of sorts, getting it out on the table because the folks in Scientology will say she’s all of these horrible things.

Leah describes her indoctrination into the Church of Scientology and it’s an incredible journey. Her mother invites Leah and her sister to join her at the Scientology offices one afternoon. Then her pregnant mother, with assurances from the mother’s boyfriend to follow, moves the girls to Clearwater, Fl., the headquarters of Sea Org. Leah describes her living conditions as deplorable — 6 girls in 6 bunk beds in a roach-infested hotel room. The girls are left to their own devices as they are responsible for themselves and following the multitude of rules. They must clean the hotel rooms of the regular-paying parishioners and then attend classes.

I found Troublemaker very convincing as Leah Remini describes her experiences in the Scientology religion and her foray in the acting field. She’s very honest about how she met her husband, Angelo, that he was a married man, but she fell in love him anyway. Not sure why that she was forced to pay for the marriage counseling of Angelo and his wife, when he was the one who knowingly stepped out on his wife, but she paid. Wow!

Just hearing from some her experiences while being a member of Scientology, I’m surprised that Leah is still standing, although she did admit to being in therapy, which I’m sure any defecting long time member of Scientology needs. Not just because of the trauma that may have gone through, but also because Scientology was such a large part of their lives and that they may have left family members behind. Whew! It’s a huge decision to have to break with their past.

Currently, Leah exposes the secrets and truths behind Scientology. She uses the show as a vehicle to allow other former members to tell their stories and experiences. I found Troublemaker to be believable and riveting.



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January 16

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today we celebrate life of the honorable Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. Mr. King was born on January 15, 1929 and was killed on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tenn. King was instrumental in the Civil Rights movement, with organizing the Montgomery bus boycott, the marches from Selma to Montgomery, and so many more Civil Rights related events in his short life. He was planning an occupation of Washington, DC when he was assassinated. (Side note: This carried out soon after the April 4 assassination. The SCLC received an unprecedented wave of donations for the purpose of carrying it out. The campaign officially began in Memphis, on May 2, at the hotel where King was murdered. Many demonstrators camped out on the National Mall and established a camp they called “Resurrection City”, where they remained for six weeks.)

We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

Martin Luther King, Jr memorial
Martin Luther King, Jr memorial (photo by me)

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Posthumously, King was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 by Jimmy Carter. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was observed by many states beginning in 1971 and was signed into law by Ronald Regan in 1983. The first federal observance was January 20, 1986. George Bush proclaimed that the day will be observed on the third Monday in January in 1992.

Many celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by volunteering at civic, community, and service projects.

Make a career of humanity, commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and finer world to live in.